The ‘War on the Rocks’ site has just reposted a speech from a recent US Naval Institute event on maritime strategy at a time on constrained budgets:[browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://warontherocks.com/2014/01/maritime-strategy-defense-budgets/”]
Given the recent discussions about the utility of the Type 45s and what may or may not be happening with the Type 26s, this seemed to cover that old discussion which keeps popping up on here about what the Navy is for (and what we think it should be for).
I wondered if the Navy had anything that seemed to answer the questions and challenges covered in this piece, and the closest recent comment is the First Sea Lord’s speech at RUSI in September (his DSEI one was completely equipment focussed, unsurprisingly):[browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/About-the-Royal-Navy/Organisation/Senior-Naval-Staff/First-Sea-Lord/130909-1SL-RUSI-speech”]
This looks like it hits a lot of the key points, but I admit to being uneasy by the end, as it essentially says we’ll do more with less by working harder.
In a world where we are regularly ducking out of NATO commitments, are using air defence destroyers for any small task that comes our way and have increasingly turned the RFA into a substitute for escort platforms, what do people think the Navy should be doing, and indeed, if strategy is about choices what should it be giving up?
I’m not entirely convinced that the current planned force isn’t just the same as the SDR 98 one, just smaller and less coherent because we keep emphasising things like flexibility and speed of deployment while doing things like cutting amphibious forces.